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Container Lifting

C Lift Vs Yard Ramp

What's The Best Option For You?

Bison Group

2 Oct 3 Minutes

Lifting, Logistics


If you're an operator looking to strip and stuff containers with regularity, you may have looked into a container handling solution to aid your operations. However, when you consider operating budgets, site restrictions, the number of containers being processed and other logistical issues, it may leave you with more questions than answers.

Yard ramps and vertical lift systems are two common solutions at different ends of the price spectrum. But despite their differences, they are commonly compared by operators who face challenges unloading cargo between the ground and the container at chassis height.

So at Bison, we had a look at both of these options to see if we can make things a bit simpler.


To avoid double handling, a ramp is a solid alternative to a high-tech container lift system.

Yard ramps are a common solution for processing containers from the back of a truck chassis at sites with no loading dock. These steel structures allow operators to load/unload the contents of a container without physically removing the container from the chassis of the truck. Yard ramps can be fixed into any position (stationary ramp) or can be mobilised for use around a worksite to process containers in different places.

Priced anywhere from $15,000 USD per unit, yard ramps provide a lower-cost alternative to more modern solutions. However, this low price point does come at the cost of added functionality, safety and adaptability.

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  • A forklift with a load on a slope is a hazard
  • Slippery when wet/icy
  • Risk for forklift users
  • Risk when both people and forklift are using the ramp
  • Risk of overload and collapse
  • Not applicable to all operations due to size
  • Large, heavy and cumbersome to move around
  • Extra wear and tear on forklift brakes
  • Maintaining ramp from corrosion/degradation


On the other hand, sophisticated hydraulic systems like Bison C-Lifts provide a safe, efficient alternative to yard ramps – with the added ability to ground a container in a wide array of operating environments.

By grounding the container and removing the need for a yard ramp, C-Lifts significantly reduce the stress on your people and loading equipment when loading/unloading bulky, heavy or sensitive cargo.

Additionally, with vertical lift systems, the entire processing operation requires less space as you don't need to cater for a lengthy yard ramp.

Shippers around the world have invested in Bison C-Lifts as an alternative to a ramp due to the following advantages:

Avoid chassis detention costs and time pressure, un/loading container on chassis

Avoid safety hazards running forklifts with big/heavy cargo up and down ramps

Get the freedom to load containers in your own time, when it suits your workforce, without time pressure from a transport company

Avoid wear and tear on forklift brakes running up and down ramps

Better portability and a smaller operating footprint, giving operators more options around where and when containers can be procured and processed.

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These are just two options available for operators looking to process containers without a dock. If you are looking for a solution, ensure you consider factors such as:

  • Cargo type, weight and quantity

  • Cost

  • Container throughput

  • Third-party equipment availability

  • Operating budget

  • Ownership & hire options

  • Site conditions/restraints

If you’re looking for the best container handling solution for your business, contact us today.